Until Helen mentioned him in a comment to my misbegotten self-portrait post, I had never heard of this Irish artist. If you haven't followed her links yet, try this one. I respond to his portrait heads the same way I do to Francis Bacon:  the initial horrific impression, and then, as you penetrate the layers, the horror put into context, as an essential part of the human condition, but a part through which we persevere somehow. God knows how we keep going; we just do. Sometimes I think we're not doing justice to the various horrors of life, not honoring them, unless we explode and vaporize, which we refuse to do, and I guess that's some kind of testament to our tenacity or courage or blindness, I don't know what. One of the most shocking and profound lessons I've gotten through my thick head is that no matter what horrors befall you, you keep going. You just keep going. I don't know what to think about that.